Arduino Morse Decoder #2 – LCD Shield build

Some people may ask why bother posting something as simple as this, but for the uninitiated it shows how simple this stuff can be and may spark some enthusiasm.

After having sat around for a few weeks waiting for a stray component or two to land I’ve eventually built the LCD Shield portion of this project. This will be the output display for the decoder and is pretty crucial to proceedings.

As this stage is purely development I decided to build the shield so that I could plug various LCD modules into it to try different sizes and colours etc. before hard soldering my chosen one onto a board.

With that in mind I substituted a header system to give plug and play options.


The only snag with this is that the LCD is too heavy to self support purely on the headers alone and starts to sag quite alarmingly without some form of support!


A 12mm M3 screw turned upside down with a nut located a few millimeters along the thread does the job quite nicely until I can find something a little more permanent.


Aesthetically, once docked to the Arduino board this starts to look like a bad game of Jenga but this is purely prototyping!


And as proof that everything works nicely here’s the Morse Decoder display 176 seconds into its existence next to the one I put together from my existing shields on 24th January. 1202472 equates to 13.9175 days! For some stupid reason I haven’t got the heart to unplug it.

Here’s the big brother screen (20 x 4) to the 16 x 2


This has a much nicer feel to it, probably because it’s less cramped and I’m glad I didn’t flog it on eBay as I’d been planning to do. Just goes to show that disposophobia can be a good thing!

It is seriously heavy compared to the 16×2 screen and is currently perched on a 12mm piece of plastic pipe which I hacksawed off and placed between the back of the screen and the shield PCB otherwise it would have collapsed taking the pin header with it!